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daytona. >>> pope benedict xvi gave his final blessing at the vatican before his resignation, officially stepping down on thursday. alex savage is live with more on some of the controversy surrounding the process to find his replacement. alex? >> reporter: the church's sexual abuse scandal could certainly play a role in the selection process moving forward. today, catholics around the world and here in the bay area are honoring pope benedict xvi as he steps down just days later on this week. earlier on this morning, the outgoing pope gave his final blessing at the vatican. >> yes, guys, they are right there. >> the 85-year-old spoke from his studio window addressing a huge crowd that packs st. peter square. estimated at roughly 100,000 people. the pope spoke in a clear, strong voice thanking the faithful for their closeness and affection and tried to reassure catholics that he is not abandoning the church. he'll be stepping down on thursday. the first pope to do so in 600 years. and then soon the search for the next pope will begin. a conclave of 120 cardinals will vote in vote on benedi
. >>> continuing our coverage of the pope's resignation, less than a week before pope benedict xvi steps down, the italian media is publishing controversial reports about new secrets within the church. as molly line reports, today, the vatican blasted back at the reports. >> reporter: pope benedict xvi, praying with cardinals on the last day of lenten religious services. but outside the spiritual haven, a storm is brewing. the vatican is lashing out at the italian media for a string of what they call, quote, defamatory falsified reports. >> it is deplorable that as we draw closer to the time of the beginning of the conclave and the cardinal electors will be held in conscience and before god to freely indicate their choice, that there be a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable, or completely false news stories. >> reporter: italian newspapers in recent days have suggested a secret dossier prepared by the pope, alleging a series of scandals involving sex, money and power, even suggesting a, quote, shadowy gay lobby in the vatican. there's speculation in the italian media the
whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. >>> pope benedict xvi is scheduled tomorrow to give his final prayer. today he came out to spray with the cardinals. meantime the italian media the reporting that the pope's resignation is based on the latest allegations. the vatican today slammed the media for what it calls defamatory falsified reports. >>> in los angeles, cardinal roger mahoney was unflappable as he answered questions under oath today. he was deposed for nearly 3-1/2 hours about his handling of clergy sex abuse cases during his time as los angeles arch bishop. church documents have suggested that mahoney knew priests were sexually abusing children but went out of his way to shield arrest. >>> today french president said france is engaged in the final phase of the fight against militants who are believed to be hiding in a mountainous area. troops from neighboring african nations are scheduled to move in. >>> take a look at this blaze in a fireworks warehouse in china. firefighters say the fire started in a candle company on the third floor of the building then
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